Why you might not need that re-design, after all…

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money treeYou know how it goes…

The business you started with, never stays the same for long. We can’t help it, right? In order to grow and prosper, we have to change, and change we do.

Inevitably, that little seed of a business we started ages ago has morphed into something totally different. Perhaps even BIGGER & MORE AWESOME than anything we could’ve anticipated at the outset!

Uh-oh. Then comes the growing pains, when we realize that the brand we’ve presented thus far, is quickly becoming a liability. Sort of like a cute bodybuilder dude, whose muscles have outgrown his t-shirt (are you picturing that?)…and now he has to decide, does he get a new shirt, or hey – maybe his new “brand” has him sporting a few tattoos and strolling around shirtless 24/7, ha-ha.

BUT—not so fast. Our cute bodybuilder dude can’t just go buying new “shirts” every week, right? Not when there’s still some growing room in that old shirt, and anyway, maybe the color still suits him, or he’s not quite bulked-up enough for the tattooed-and-shirtless look yet—so he’ll bide his time + take the money he would’ve spent on new shirts and save it up for some fabulous tattoos.

My Point: It doesn’t matter what kind of currency you’re using (your own time, or money to hire a pro like yours truly), if you go redesigning your brand image too soon, or too often, or for the wrong reasons—you’ll break the bank and get a poor return-on-investment.

So how do you KNOW when it’s time for a new brand image? If you find yourself in one (or all) of the following scenarios, then it’s probably time for a re-design (or pretty darn close).

{If not, then cool your heels and stick with the website, brochures, or whatever, that you already have…until the time is right + your biz is ripe for the upgrade.}

Five Signs Your Biz is Truly in Need of (and Would Benefit From) a Re-Design

1 Years have passed, and your once-fledgling business is now a thriving adult with its own personality + values + ambitions. But, metaphorically speaking, your brand image is still wearing onesies & cooing like a baby, which worked at one time, but it’s just not “cute” anymore (adult diapers, anyone?) In this case, it’s definitely worth the effort to up-level your brand image – so your audience won’t mistakenly think that you’re offering the same value you once did as a “baby” biz (super-important if you’ve raised your prices, began catering to a more specific niche, and so forth).

2 Your gut is screaming “Now!”. You’ve evolved…and evolved…and evolved…and the nagging voice in your head that tells you your brand image is out of alignment with your business has grown from a whisper in the back of your mind, to a scream you just can’t ignore. So, trust your instincts. If *you* feel it’s outdated, misleading your tribe, and/or just not doing your business justice, AND especially if you’re getting those same signals from your audience, then it’s definitely time to update your image.

3 You’ve taken a 180° shift, into a very different target market (or industry, specialization, etc.). You’re committed to this new direction, you’re 99.9% certain it’s the (albeit scary) right thing to do, and you’re taking the necessary steps to pull it off. But, your old brand likely won’t resonate with this new audience – so a well-thought-out re-design would definitely be a good idea to reach your new tribe.

Businesswoman Holding Earth

4 You’re embarking on major, earth-shaking changes. Re-branding with a new business name and mission. Or, expanding your business into a new industry. At some point, this one might not even be considered a “re-do”- but a complete start-from-scratch kind of thing. And it’s pretty much a no-brainer that you can’t make that huge of a shift and expect your audience to follow, without updating your brand image to reflect it.

5 You’ve crossed a major (significant) line in your business journey; one totally redefines your business, and positions you for major growth. Maybe you were a solopreneur/sole proprietor, and now you have a team and can take on 10x more business than you could one year ago. Or you’re moving from selling your products wholesale on a small scale, to licensing and/or selling to major corporations in your industry. Whatever the change, it’s clear that you’re playing on a whole different level now – and it pays to have your whole brand image reflect that, so you can make the most of your new opportunities.

pointing-hand**BONUS TIP: This one is imperative! Before you invest time and/or money on a major brand overhaul, be sure that you’re definitely in the right place brand-wise (with your specialty, industry, mission, target market, etc.) Granted, it’s impossible to have 100% of your ducks in a perfect row all the time, but still – don’t invest your resources in a major re-design until you’re confident and comfortable with where you’re at – like you plan to keep moving in that direction in the forseeable future. In other words, no sense in going to the trouble, if you’re feeling uncertain about where your business is at and think you might do a complete 180 two months down the road.

Need a fabulous new “look” for your biz? With as little effort on your part as possible? Find out more about my services HERE…

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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